Dynamic Social Networks Promote Cooperation in Experiments with Humans

Human interactions are not random but rather are structured in social networks, and ties in these networks are often dynamic, changing in response to the behavior of one’s social partners. This structure permits an important form of conditional action that has been explored theoretically but has received little empirical attention.

In this study, these researchers present experimental evidence of the power of using strategic link formation and dissolution, and the network modification it entails, to stabilize cooperation in sizable groups.